Internet Safety

Internet safety bill passes House

WASHINGTON – Legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Bartow, designed to make it easier for schools to teach children how to protect themselves from the potential dangers on the Internet passed 416-0 in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The bill will now head for the Senate.

In the process of raising our children we teach them certain valuable lessons, such as don’t touch a hot stove, look both ways before crossing the street, don’t talk to strangers. We must also guide them and warn them of the dangers that are available on the Internet.

Putnam’s measure would allow schools that receive federal funding from two programs to promote Internet Safety and to be able to use those funds for Internet safety educational programs. These programs would include but not be limited to educating students about social networking, online predators and cyber-bullies and ways to involve parents in the use of the Internet by their children.

The Internet is a wonderful yet dangerous place; we need to teach our kids how to avoid certain dangers that lurk out there.

As noted by a 2007 study by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, which has endorsed his measure.

According to the study:

· 69 percent of teens regularly receive personal messages online from people they don’t know.

· 31 percent of teens say they usually reply and chat with people they don’t know, and only 21 % tell a trusted adult when they receive such messages.

· 64 percent post photos or videos of themselves, while 58% post info about where they live.

· 71 percent of teens have established online profiles, up from 61 percent in 2006.

· 19 percent of teens report they have been harassed or bullied online.